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Prentiss Riddle
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Is anybody moblogging today's protests?

Is anybody liveblogging/moblogging/phlogging today's immigration protests in Austin? I'm downtown and just spent my lunch hour mingling with several hundred enthusiastic and mostly very young protesters at the Capitol. As I understand it the mid-day rally was to be held at UT and the main show downtown doesn't start till 4:00 today, so what I saw was just a little unplanned side event. It seemed to be moving around by swarm dynamics -- at first the crowd was all at 12th and Congress, then it moved up to the Capitol steps for some speeches (without amplification so only people huddled in the middle could hear), then a cheer went up and the crowd moved back down the mall. I asked a couple of passersby where everybody was headed and got the answers "just follow the crowd" and "we're going to the UT" -- only the crowd was moving south and UT was to the north.

Grabbing a bite on my way to the festivities I overheard some diners of my own age and ethnicity criticizing these rallies as signs of "bad parenting". I wanted to step into the conversation and ask just what they thought it was that the kids would be learning in school today that was more important than what they were learning in the rallies? Texas schoolkids kids get drilled every February in the legacy of Rosa Parks and MLK, but let them try their hand at applying those lessons and suddenly everybody's a truant officer.

Now I'm thinking about whether to disrupt my daughters' busy and overscheduled week to bring them downtown after work to see what democracy feels like in person.

Oh, and as to my original question: supposedly the school-age leaders of the protests are very digital, organizing by IM and MySpace and whatnot. If so, are any of my readers plugged into that network? So far I've found the Latinos for Texas blog and my friend Seyd's photos from Dallas on Sunday. A Flickr search for "austin immigration" turns up photos that are a week old. Anybody know of anything more real-time?

causes 2006.04.10 link

Comments

I'm too far north and work is killing me, so no coverage from my end. The Metblogoverse is trying to get some coverage going. Being that you're tag-inclined, we're using "april10-metblog" and "april10-austin" (substitute your city name if you're elsewhere) along with "immigration" for any posts or photos. There's already some decent stuff coming out of Phoenix and Portland.

As far as the kids and the protest go, I've been trying to figure out why this particular cause has manifested in high school walk outs. The cynical old man in me says that a few schools did it in California and now it's become fashionable. The immigration issue doesn't seem to overly affect the teenage population. Where the hell were all these walkouts in the run-up to the Iraq Invasion (I'm sorry...Liberation)?

ttrentham [ttrentham cxe thechunk punkto com] • 2006.04.10
Thanks for the tip, TT.

I'm sure that fashion (and an excuse to cut classes) play a role in these protests. What movement of any kind doesn't have that sort of human element in it? Nevertheless, I think this one is being sparked by teenagers because these kids' parents and grandparents are the ones directly affected, and yet those parents and grandparents may be too overworked and too afraid to speak out -- until their kids, raised on those lessons about MLK I was talking about, do it for them.

The war in Iraq, I'm sorry to say, is an abstraction for most Americans. Immigration policy ceases to be an abstraction when it's your mom they're talking about deporting.

In other news, there's an Immigration Rallies group in Flickr with a big photo pool.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2006.04.10
The girls and I made it to the very tail end of the march yesterday evening. There was no real climax to the event -- I guess the federal building doesn't provide a stage and PA for speeches like at the Capitol. Still, the crowd was impressive, clearly several thousand people and bigger than the peace marches I attended in days of yore that had months of preparation and a statewide draw. The girls were a little nonplussed but into it. If nothing else, the chants were a good Spanish lesson. :-)

Latinos for Texas blog links to a good Flickr set by smartytron.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2006.04.11
More LFT pics here:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/crystalv/april_10_march

Crystal • 2006.04.11
Emma, Mazie and I went downtown right after school let out. We were at the rally for about 80 minutes before the march started. The waiting was the hardest part, as my man Tom always says. The marching was incredible. More to say than I have time right now. Bottom line: as we were making our way up the hill to the federal building, Mazie said, "I'm really glad we came, Mom."

lize burr [esb cxe austin punkto rr punkto com] • 2006.04.12
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